My Take: I LOVED this book. I sat down to read a couple chapters and accidentally spent the whole day reading the whole book … whoops. I didn’t want to do laundry anyway. This book grabbed me from the first second and obviously never let me go.
It’s so sweet, so funny, and so swoony. I always love Karla’s work (I see you, Washington Wolves), and I think this was the perfect kick off to the Smartypants Romance world because while it touches perfectly on aspects of Green Valley, it also carries its own weight and creates its own reality within the Donner Bakery and the Buchanan family. If I didn’t already know who Jennifer and Cletus were they wouldn’t have stood out to me, but I loved seeing the Winston touches. I was interested to see how an author I already love would write a book in a town I already love created by a different author. It turns out, it was awesome.
I loved the characters. Levi was perfection, and while Joss could be slightly annoying at times (but hey, as she points out: she is only twenty one, she’s allowed to be immature sometimes) I do love that she was flawed. I think it’s wonderful that it’s an inclusive couple- physical disabilities don’t stop a person from falling in love and its not something you often see in the Romance world (or really in any fiction genre I’ve seen). I love that it didn’t shy away from mentioning the reality of a disability even if its not sexy.
I’m grateful the Buchanan curse (and Karla Sorensen) brought us Levi and Joss!
Blurb: I’m Levi Buchanan, and until five years ago, I thought the legend of my family’s curse was a load of crazy, Southern nonsense.
No curse can make you fall in love at first sight. No curse can force a true, deep, passionate, all-consuming love that will haunt you all the days of your life.
Then I met Jocelyn Abernathy and I realized how completely wrong I was.
The problem is, Jocelyn guards her feelings like well-armed soldier. She’s the most beautiful, stubborn, infuriating woman I’ve ever met. Every time she talks, I want to kiss the living daylights out of her. But I can’t.
Because when we met, she didn’t need true love. She needed a best friend. And that’s what I’ve been to her… for five years.
But when Jocelyn meets a handsome stranger her first day working at Donner Bakery and she lets him buy her a dill pickle cupcake, I realize with ominous regret that I may have missed my window with my best friend.
If I can’t get her to see past our friendship, my new curse may be to watch the love of my life move on with someone else.
‘Baking Me Crazy’ is a full-length contemporary romantic comedy, can be read as a standalone, and is book#1 in the Donner Bakery series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.
Download your copy today!
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“Besides, this is my best friend perk. Shouldn’t I get perks in baked goods?”
She cut me a look. “You’ve been getting those perks for two years, Buchanan. Don’t even pretend you didn’t put on a solid ten pounds that first year I started baking.” Quite pointedly, she looked at my stomach, which we both knew was covered in muscle.
“That’s rude,” I mumbled under my breath. I flexed my bicep. Nero licked my elbow since it was right in front of him. “Yeah, ten pounds in my left arm maybe.”
The noise she made roughly translated to you are ridiculous. She made that sound at me a lot. Of course, the sad truth of the matter was that I was ridiculous.
Not once in the past five years had my feelings lessened for her. I had just learned to live with them. In my junior year of undergrad, I was taking a class on brain pathology in injuries, and a man came to talk to us about how he learned to live without his right arm after it was amputated.
He told us about how, even years after he lost his arm, his brain still triggered sensations to the limb that was no longer there. The adult brain, in particular, struggled to reorganize after the loss of a limb, and given that four out of five amputees suffer from phantom pain symptoms, some of which were incredibly debilitating, it was a lesson that stuck with me.
I wasn’t fool enough to think that me loving Jocelyn was on par with a man who’d lost his arm, but something about the way he talked plucked at a chord inside me. Sometimes my brain struggled to remember that we were just friends.
She’d never dated, never even hinted that she wanted to. She’d never given me a longing glance. Never stared at my mouth like she wondered what it tasted like.
But my hands never, not once, stopped wanting to reach for hers. My fingers always, always itched to dig into her crazy hair and see what the curve of her scalp felt like.
My brain knew what this relationship was, but sometimes, the signals it sent to the rest of my body didn’t always match up with the truth of our situation. We worked out together a lot, Joss and I, and when she got frustrated with the limitations of her body, I always wanted to wrap my arms around her.
I wanted to pull her into the curve of my body, absorb her dissatisfaction into my skin, and carry it for her. That was the irony when she made noises like that.
She had absolutely no clue how ridiculous I really was.
About Karla Sorensen
Karla Sorensen has been an avid reader her entire life, preferring stories with a happily-ever-after over just about any other kind. And considering she has an entire line item in her budget for books, she realized it might just be cheaper to write her own stories. It doesn’t take much to keep her happy…a book, a really big glass of wine, and at least thirty minutes of complete silence every day. She still keeps her toes in the world of health care marketing, where she made her living pre-babies. Now she stays home, writing and mommy-ing full time (this translates to almost every day being a ‘pajama day’ at the Sorensen household…don’t judge). She lives in West Michigan with her husband, two exceptionally adorable sons and big, shaggy rescue dog.
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